10 Of The Best A1 Bikes To Consider



A1 category machines are motorcycles or scooters with up to a 125cc engine and a maximum power output of 11Kw or 15 horsepower. 

Check out this post to understand the ins and out of your A1 licence.

Remember, though, if you are aged 17 or above, have a provisional driving licence, and have completed a CBT course, you can legally ride a 125cc bike. For information about CBT and other tests, have a look through our tests and training section

There is a lot of choice for A1 bikes out there, so we have picked the best of the best and put them in one place to narrow down your selection. 

Yamaha YZF-R125

Yamaha YZF-R125


  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 75mph
  • Seat Height – 825mm
  • Wet Weight – 144kg

The R125 is one of the best sports-based 125 currently available. It is a direct descendant of the same racing machines that speed around tracks in WorldSBK and MotoGP. 

The first thing you notice about the R125 is the sheer size of it, which is great if you don’t want to stand out as a ‘learner rider’. 

If you were to put it in a lineup of 600cc sportsbikes, you would be hard-pushed without removing the fairings to know it was a much smaller capacity bike. 

Yamaha has spared no expense in ensuring the R125 has all the same qualities as its bigger brothers, including the same lightweight Deltabox chassis, aluminium swingarm, and a racing-style Assist/Slipper Clutch.

Yamaha’s Variable Valve Actuation system ensures excellent acceleration, and the right amount of power is delivered at precisely the right times. The VVA system is used on all of the bigger racing machines.

This is a bike for taller riders, the seat height sits at 825mm, and the general ergonomics are spacious.

The riding position isn’t extreme; it is comfortable but is notably sporty with rear-set footpegs. 

The handlebars are raised higher than on the bigger R series bikes so you can sit more upright, although the clip-ons allow you to tuck your elbows in, get your head down and do your best Rossi impression. 

Check it out on Yamaha

Yamaha MT-125

Yamaha MT-125


  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 80mph
  • Seat Height – 810mm
  • Wet Weight – 142kg

If racing bikes aren’t your thing, you could join Yamaha’s Dark Side and look at the MT-125, an aggressively styled naked bike that is equally outstanding in terms of quality and performance. 

The MT-07 and MT-09, upon their release, were two of Yamaha’s best-selling motorcycles of all time, attracting young and old and encouraging the hooligan spirit that lies dormant in all riders.

It should be no surprise that the MT-125 shares that same essence. It is an upright street bike, comfortable and easy to ride with power on tap and torque spread across the rev range, making it perfect for around town and then out to the back roads. 

It is still big for a 125, but the seat height is a little lower, and you sit into the bike with the tank sculpted so you can get a good grip with your thighs and knees. 

The handlebars are tall and wide, allowing a comfortable, controlled, natural riding position that inspires confidence. 

The MT shares many similarities with the R125, including the frame, engine, clutch, forks, and brakes, with the main difference being the layout and styling of the bike.

The MT is one of the fastest bikes in the class, with a top speed of 80mph.

This lightweight hyper naked 125 will turn heads and attract attention; it screams attitude!

Check it out on Yamaha

Kawasaki Ninja 125

Kawasaki Ninja 125


  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 74mph
  • Seat Height – 785mm
  • Wet Weight – 149kg

Next, we come to the legendary Ninja. 

Even non-bikers will be vaguely familiar with the Kawasaki Ninja, the Ninja name has cemented itself as an Icon, and you can gain entry into that iconic fold with the Ninja 125. 

Much like the R125 for Yamaha, the baby Ninja isn’t just a gimmick, far from it. 

The bike has race DNA running through its chassis and motor. Kawasaki has taken their engineering knowledge and quality components from the Ninja H2 and leaked it down to the 125. 

You have a lightweight, rigid trellis-style frame for optimum and precise handling, along with the Kawasaki Racing Team-inspired bodywork. 

The motor is tuned for great low-mid range performance paired with the renowned top-end Ninja characteristics. 

You can even upgrade to the Performance version; this includes a smoked windscreen, engine slider, pillion seat cover, and an Arrow sports exhaust. 

Kawasaki is very good at tailoring their bikes to individual riders. They have an Ergo-Fit system whereby you can change some aspects of the bike to fit you better. This could be the handlebar height, footpeg position, or different seat options. 

As it is, though, the Ninja 125 is pretty comfortable from the get-go. It is a fairly neutral riding position, slightly less aggressive than the R125 but still allows you to tuck in where you want to. 

Check it out on Kawasaki

Honda MSX125 (Grom)

Honda MSX125 (Grom)


  • Max Power – 10 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 73mph
  • Seat Height – 761mm
  • Wet Weight – 103kg

Now it’s time to switch gears and look at a slightly more off-beat 125, the Honda Grom. 

Honda released the Grom in 2014, and it blew up in all the magazines, on all the websites, and YouTube; there was no escaping this modern-day monkey bike, and I am all for it.

Consider the MSX125 a very small hooligan bike. The very nature of the Grom puts a smile on people’s faces, and the custom jobs I have seen are truly works of art. 

However, it isn’t all fun, games, and wheelies. The Grom is actually a very capable 125cc motorcycle. It is perfect for the shorter rider whose confidence will increase by being able to have two feet down on the ground at stops. 

For the latest model, you get a new engine with a new 5-speed gearbox, LCD dash, LED lights, cast aluminium wheels, upside-down forks, and fresh contemporary styling. 

The Grom is the perfect partner for riding in and around cities. It is built to manoeuvre around tight spaces and in traffic with ease. 

The one downside, however, is that it is very small compared to other bikes, so if you are taller and more heavy-set, you may both look and feel like a clown. Although that is part of the charm, I think. 

Check it out on Honda

Suzuki GSX-S125

Suzuki GSX-S125


  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 75mph
  • Seat Height – 785mm
  • Wet Weight – 135kg

The GSX-S125 is a street bike with a great power-weight ratio and sporty acceleration that can match almost all competition in the class. 

Suzuki has produced an agile, lightweight, and accessible bike that will inspire confidence in the newest riders while allowing them to grow into riding and feel the excitement as their skills develop. 

The engine is a powerful compact unit and fuel-efficient; it is housed in one of the lightest chassis of the 125 class. To aid with keeping the weight down, Suzuki has utilised the latest Bosch ABS 10 base unit, which is the lightest two-channel ABS system on the market. 

Styling is aggressive with lots of sharp angles and a slightly raised rear end which gives the bike a slammed look, but the lightweight nature ensures that most riders can handle it as slow speed manoeuvres. 

The riding position is very neutral and upright, which is the best position for new riders to be completely controlled and comfortable. The more comfortable a rider is, the more miles they will do, and when you are learning to ride, you want to get as many miles under your belt as possible.  

Check it out on Suzuki

KTM 125 Duke



  • Max Power – 15 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 77mph
  • Seat Height – 822mph
  • Wet Weight – 141kg

If the GSX-S125 is considered aggressive, then the KTM Duke must be on steroids.

The Duke was the fastest 125 motorbike available for a long time, while it is slightly behind Yamaha’s MT now. It remains a steadfast, powerful beast that retains all the big boy DNA from its siblings. 

This small-capacity machine looks like a much bigger bike and is best suited to the taller/more confident rider as it has a seat height of 822mm.

Just because it is the smallest of the pack doesn’t mean KTM has slacked on the details, either. The Duke is fully loaded with an LED headlight, full TFT display, a 6th cruising gear, ABS, and high-performance upside-down WP forks. 

High-quality cast parts have been used along with a steel tank. The more you look at the details, the more you realise how strikingly similar it is to the flagship 1290 Super Duke R. 

It is angry, naked, untamed, and ready to ensure you stand out from the rest of the pack, even if you are new to riding.  

Check it out on KTM

Aprilia RS125

Aprilia RS125


  • Max Power – 14.75 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 70mph
  • Seat Height – 805mm
  • Wet Weight – 126kg

Aprilia’s RS125 is born out of their success on the race track. The RS125 is directly related to the MotoGP bikes, which have had a fair share of success over the years.

The RS125 encourages new riders into the Aprilia brand and gets them excited about what is to come as their riding career progresses. 

As a result, it is a pretty tall but streamlined, straight-up sportsbike with little attempt to make it slightly more neutral and user-friendly on the roads. 

It is a bike for riders destined to ride sportsbikes who want to get there early to master the foundations. 

Rear-set footpegs and clip-on bars shove the rider into a hunched position and encourage you to get your head down with your knees gripping the tank to master precision riding in bends. 

As a slight caveat, it should be noted that the Aprilia will feel and ride very different from most upright neutral 125’s that you will have done your CBT on, so take your time to get acquainted with the riding position and feel of everything.  

You can upgrade to the even sportier-focused GP Replica.

Check it out on Aprilia

Aprilia RX125

Aprilia RX125


  • Max Power – 14.75
  • Top Speed – 74mph
  • Seat Height – 905mm
  • Weight – 134kg

Shifting away from the sports-focused style Aprilia also produced the RX125, a dual-sport bred from Aprilia’s true off-road machines. 

The RX has all the makings of a great off-roader with two wave brake discs 21” front wheel. Knobbly tyres, excellent ground clearance, top suspension setup, and tall wide bars for maximum control. 

As with most dual sports, the RX is very tall, so it won’t suit everyone despite being lightweight. 

If you like the look of the RX but won’t be doing much off-roading, you could look at the SX125, which is the supermoto version, with road tyres instead of knobbly tyres and a slightly shorter seat height of 880mm (which is still pretty tall). 

Both models are fun and a great gateway into dual-sport riding, off-roading, supermoto, and a step into the world of bigger adventure bikes. 

Check it out on Aprilia

Lexmoto LXR SE 125

Lexmoto LXR SE 125


  • Max Power – 11 horsepower 
  • Top Speed – 69mph
  • Seat Height – 820mm
  • Weight – 167kg 

An interesting addition to the 125 sportsbike class is the LXR SE. 

It does not share the same performance specs as others in the class, like the R125, Ninja, or GSX-R. However, it does have several positives that may make you lean towards it over the others. 

The first and most obvious is that it is very cheap compared to bikes from the big Japanese manufacturers; it comes in at roughly half that of the Yamaha R125. 

Secondly, it has a very big bike feel as it shares its chassis with the 300cc version. So there is plenty of room to move around for comfort, and it will suit a range of riders. 

Just because it is priced competitively doesn’t mean it is rubbish. Gone are the days when Chinese motorcycles couldn’t get you down the road without something falling off. 

The LXR features an aluminium swingarm, upside-down forks, twin petal disc brakes up front, combined linked brakes, and a TFT display.

It is a lot of bang for the buck and not a bad-looking model, either. 

Check it out on Lexmoto

Sinnis Terrain T125

Sinnis Terrain T125


  • Max Power – 12.7 horsepower
  • Top Speed – 60mph
  • Seat Height – 780mm
  • Wet Weight – 162kg

The Terrain is an acclaimed lightweight adventure-style 125cc bike that has been improved for the latest model year. 

As standard, it comes with a luggage capacity of 66.5 litres in the form of two panniers and a top box, along with a USB charging port to plug in your sat nav or phone. 

A big 14-litre fuel tank and excellent fuel economy mean you spend more time on the road than you do at petrol stations which is always a big bonus. 

Six gears give you the option of a cruising gear for when you are rolling down some long straights in no particular rush. 

The upright seating position, wide bars, neutral pegs, and large seat ensure you are comfortable and not straining during your rides. 

Lightweight adventure bikes make great bikes for new riders due to their comfort and size; they have a presence on the road and tend to be taller, so visibility is increased. 

Whether you are looking for a commuter that can carry your everyday bags or a fancy hitting the road for a proper adventure, the Terrain is up for it. 

Check it out on Sinnis